Mankato Marathon 2013


It has been one week since I ran the Mankato marathon and I am now able to go up and down steps without my legs reminding me of the work they did one Sunday…I am sure it looked funny for a few days, but it was worth it.

I am super pumped to have completed my 5th full marathon, you can read about last years Mankato race here , I am actually ready to run the same race next year, I really do enjoy this course and the support along the way.

My day:

5:15 AM alarm goes off, hit snooze

5:25 AM stagger out of bed…take a nice warm shower, put on my running gear, complete with a nice layer of glide to prevent chaffing…wish me luck.

5:45 AM waiver on outfit, its is freezing outside, it has not been so cold yet this year, I do not want to spend the next 4+ hours cold, and wet.

5:55 AM wolf down egg, toast, banana and bring coffee and vitamin C charged water with me.

6:04 AM all 6 of us in the car on the road….getting a little nervous

6:45 AM I am dry heaving out the window of the only car on highway 14….might be the vitamin and ibuprofen I gulped down or my nerves, this has never happened before!!!

7:28 AM get to Mankato and head straight into the CVS for black garbage bags, rain on the forecast and maybe even snow!?!?! Gotta love Minnesota weather!

7:45 AM biffy business done….ready to run

7:56 AM Photo op with my favorite fans!  Another mom in the parking lot with kids crowded around her for warmth offered to take our picture, thank you!  (notice my socks, it is the only was you will recognize me in the end…brrrrrrrrr!)

Mankato Marathon

8:00 The gun goes off, like cattle we head through the start gate and listen to the beeping of our time chips activating and Garmin watches starting…here we go.  Mind  you I am wearing a huge Sherpa lined hoodie sweatshirt, have a garbage bag with head and neck holes wrapped around my hydration belt, 32 ounces of water in bottles and gu chomps…not feeling all the light, but ready to run.

~8:45 AM right around mile 5 I am warm enough to take off my hoodie and throw it in the ditch, just as the 4:15 pace group comes up behind me, I run with them for quite a few miles. I am feeling confident and ready to rock this race, (yes it took almost an hour to warm up and get my head in the race!)

~11:17 AM (all this and still not lunch time?…I know!!) about 20 miles in I am starting to hurt, I take the ibuprofen I brought with me, at this point it is like having a baby without an epidural…you either can or you cannot…you won’t remember all that you went through in the end but there will be a baby medal in your arms and an irreplaceable sense of accomplishment.

~12:32 PM (how as your lunch?) I cross the finish just seconds after seeing my family in the crowd cheering for me, I caught my hubby’s eye glimmering with pride.  I take off my hydration belt and my chest tightens I can hardly breathe, man pride is a crazy thing.  I walk and have a medal put around my neck.  (yes it is me…those socks won’t lie)

Mankato Marathon

Then I ask in a super small watery voice for one more, to give to Ana the Brave who I ran in honor of.  She has fought a battle with brain cancer that no one can train for..she needs some bling too!

Mankto Marathon

~1:15 PM Noodles for lunch, my favorite, it takes awhile and does not sit well but I need that calories.

~1:45 PM back on the road heading home to a hot shower and my bed.  Already planning on training better for next year! 🙂

Official chip time for 2013: 4:31:34, honestly my slowest, but I put the least amount of training into this race and felt great to accomplish it, so I am happy with that time.

Running a Legacy

I climbed the proverbial running ladder, if you will.

Climbed rung by rung, for real, from the ground up starting with week 1 day 1 on the Couch to 5K C25K program, after baby number 3.

I ran my first 5K race in March 2008.  I cried, thought my heart would burst; with pride, relief and thrill, and then went back to cheer for my hubby who was a few minutes behind me.

Next the 10K, ½ marathon, 20 miler and then the full….26.2 which seems insane but really it is always over by a bit in a race that is a Boston qualifying race to ensure it goes the distance.  I think my Garmin watch read 26.32 when I crossed the finish of my first full marathon in 2010.

But let’s back up a moment, I chose to run the Mankato Marathon, why? Because serendipitously the year of the first Mankato marathon was the same year that I had added running a full marathon to the years tasks.  Coincidence? I thought not.  So since 2010 I have run each year in the Mankato marathon, I even ran one other full marathon in 2011, but 2 in a year was too many.

My pact with myself was to keep running this marathon every year , “every year I’m shuffling” if I have to right?!  Well, this year my friend Kim that has run every year with me, is out with injury, and to be honest without the camaraderie I am not feeling it as much, plus as I posted in pickled, I am tapped out each day and have not run more than 10 miles since the Med City ½ marathon Memorial day weekend.  I was struggling trying to convince myself.

Then I get this email:

Good Morning Mankato Runner,

This is our official Mankato Marathon invite to welcome you back for 2013. We have exciting news as we have implemented a Legacy Program for those faithful marathoners who have been with us since our first Mankato Marathon race.

Starting in 2014, runners who have completed all five consecutive Mankato Marathons are eligible to be in the Mankato Marathon Legacy Runner program.  

Legacy Runners will receive a special, unique bib for the 2014 Mankato Marathon, have special acknowledgment in the 2014 Mankato Marathon Activities Guide and on the Mankato Marathon website, and acknowledgment at the 2014 Scheels and New Balance Sport and Health Expo. Runners will receive a unique clothing item as well.

To find out more information contact XXXXXXXX at or to register

See you in a month!

Mankato Marathon Staff


It’s like they read my mind….I want to run every year…this year I need motivation…unique clothing item…I might be easily persuaded.

I have been motivaed, legacy…I mean really who ignores an invite a legacy club??!!  Not this girl, so I am going to run this race…I am fiercely self competitive, it will be frustrating for me to not be what I would deem “fully trained” for this race, but I am hoping my body will surprise me by showing me that not over training can be successful as well.

So give me a little mental what’s up on October 20th as I run in the small legacy club without my friend and minimal training! It will feel so great to cross that finish line regardless of the time on the clock.   Pre race jitters are all ready setting in!!


I took Friday and Saturday of from running, which cancelled a total of 16 miles from my training plan.

Sunday I rode 20 miles on a stationary bike at teh club.

This coming Saturday is my Duathalon…Dualathon…whichever…2 sports one race 😉

I am felling better so today I ran a slow 4 miles on the treadmill, still to rainy to go outside.

I made it no pain, my back still hurts just a little bit in certain positions, I am very thankful that I did no severely injure myself, I think I just tweaked something doing a sloppy kettlebell workout…I  might just need a little more sleep.

I fell so much better. I could feel myself getting crabby and not coping with life as well.

Truth is running is my reset button, somehow it has become part of me, like breathing or sunshine, I thrive with it in my life.

Crazy to understand if it is not your gig, plain truth if you are a runner.


Not Back At It…today anyway

Here I sit on a lovely April Saturday morning, all be it, the temperature is still unseasonably cold here, even for Minnesota, but it is Saturday morning, a race morning and I am sitting out.

Thursday I rode 10 miles on the bike and did Kettlebells, I felt a little off when I was doing kettlebells and the stretch hurt a little at the end in my lower back, and I realized I hurt myself.  I think I strained it and jsut tweaked something and have hobble around for 2 days, slept on a heating pack and walked yesterday.  I tried to run, but it hurt.

Now I am 100% Pro activity in any form, but if you are a runner, you can totally understand that going for a walk, cannot be compared to going for a run.

TOday was supposed to be my first race this calendar year, so I am calling it the season, which usually includes a race most Saturday morning through October when I consider serious racing and training done after I run the Mankato Marathon.

SO I am really sad to be sitting out the local Fetzer 20K that is going on right now.

My back is feeling better so I am hoping to get in at least some biking today and maybe start running again on Monday.

Next week is my duathalon and all 6 of us are signed up for the color run.

Exercise Room

Still working on organizing the house, from my New Years resolution.

This pace used to be our office, we had 2 desks on each end, after the kids went to be Jon worked on his homework and I worked on Ebay/blogging.

Jon recently bought a laptop and can work wherever he likes  and I have moved my office into the unfinished, large, laundry/craft room.  I just have so much inventory it was not enough space and kept spilling into the living room.

Here is a picture from our living room:

raiven 022

Notice the exercise area behind the futon?  Well it is gone!  During my Fab Five February I sold the futon and the recumbent bike!!

This living room downstairs, serves as the TV room, a playroom, you can see the dress up on the middle left side of the picture, and until recently a workout room.

This space needed less responsibility!

So we moved all exercise related items into the old office and viola! No more exercising in the living room. (living room pic still to come)

Some before and after shots of the new workout room:

Notice there are glass french doors so I can close them if I need/want to.

Before.                                                                After

Ebay 552 (2)Ebay 565 (2)

Before                                                                  After

Ebay 554 (2)Ebay 567 (2)

Before.                                                             After

Ebay 555 (2)Ebay 569 (2)

Before.                                                            After…my 7 mile run at night…hence the lighting.

Ebay 558 (2)Ebay 572 (2)

I still have  a few things that I would like to do in this room:

  • Add some audio/visual maybe take down one shelf dn add a small TV, definitely something for music.
  • Take out the wireless modem..move it into the office.
  • Add some inspirational sayings? Wall art?
  • Relable the Ikea bins, since those no longer house shopping bags and mittens/hats 😉

It feels so good to have a clean space to exercise inside, so I can run while the littles nap, and since spring has yet to get here, I may need this space for a while.

We do have a gym membership to a fantastic club in town, but it is nice to have this option. In about 3 years will all 4 of our kids are in school full day I will probably sell the treadmill and run at the club or outside.  AS an avid runner this is still a vital piece of “home decor” for me.



1/2 Marathon Training starts….now! (sub 2:00)

You all know I am a runner, it is like breathing for me, my system starts to shut down when I miss more than a day of running, well not entirely, but emotionally I drain without running.

It clears my mind, takes me away from life, I organize my thoughts, plus get a great caloric burn at the same time.

Last year I ran a PR 1/2 marathon twice. The first in May at the Med City and the second in Duluth at Grandmas 1/2. (1:58:01) 9:01 pace.

I did not get into grandmas 1/2 marathon through the lottery this year, so I am considering running the full 26.2 to join all my girls for the weekend….but that is a bit ahead of where this post is leading.

Below is the training plan, my life, for the next 12 weeks, this puts me right to race day for the Med City Marathon weekend.

This plan will hopefully bring me a new PR, you can see the plan trains beyond the 13.1 race distance, this is the intermediate 1/2 marathon training plan from

I love having a plan set for me…..hubby will back into the training routine as well:

Hubby: how many miles do you have to run tomorrow?

Me: (the mileage for the next day)…

He is very supportive, but I am trying to convince him to run with me this year, so instead he can ask “how many miles are WE running tomorrow?” He of course would start on the beginner plan.

My schedule:

Week Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
1 Off 4M 6M 4M 6M 3M 8M
2 Off Fartlek (5M) 3M 5M 6M 3M 9M
3 Off 5-6 Hills 5K-10K pace 3M 6M 6M 3M 10M
4 Off Fartlek (5M) 3M 6M 6M 3M 8M
5 Off 4-5 Long Hills 5K-10K pace 4M 6M 6M 3M 11M
6 Off 6 x 880s 5K-10K pace 4M 7M 7M 4M 8M
7 Off 3 x Mile 5K-10K pace 4M 7M 7M 3M 12M
8 Off 6 x 880s 5K pace 5M 7M 7M 4M 9M
9 Off 4 x Mile 5K-10K pace 4M 7M 7M 4M 14M
10 Off 6 x 880s 5K pace 5M 8M 8M 5M 15M
11 Off 5M 5M 8M 7M 4M 8M
12 Off 4M 4M 6M 4M 3M RACE DAY


Running 26.2 sounds crazy right? But what about 26.58??? That is what my Garmin rolled over in mileage at the Mankato Marathon Sunday October 21, 2012. (Watch says 26.6 because I didn’t stop it right away). But how about that calorie count???

In order for a marathon to be a Boston Marathon qualifying race it has to exceed the 26.2 mark to ensure that runners have gone the distance, if you will, because 26.1 might not be enough??!!

Anyway, this was Mankato’ 3rd marathon, they have re-marketed it as the BOLD RACE, starting this year. My friend Kim and I have run all 3, Mankato’s first marathon was also my first Marathon. To be honest I was just not feeling this marathon, it is truly a full time job training for this distance; the energy drain, the time way from family, and getting nothing done around the house can creep up on even the sanest person, which I do not claim to be.

However, there is something about lining up and getting involved in races that really gets me excited. By mile 3 I was definitely glad I had trained to run this race, and as many times prior to the race that I may be qutoed as saying “this will probably be my last for a while” or “I am just not feeling it this time”, my head was in the race. Kim and I were on pace for a 4:12 marathon time until about mile 22, my chest started to hurt, and my pulse was really weak, I has a cramp in my right calf (which does not ever happen to me),  my GU chomps made me a little nauseous; I needed fluids, so we slowed to a walk while I took on water as quickly and safely as I could, and we started running again.

We crossed the finish line just over 4:22 about 3 minutes slower that last year, however, I knew already that there would be next year.

Total we have both run 4 full marathons….This is your brain on running;)

As a bonus I explained to the lady with the medals I was running for a cause, and she gave me a medal for Ana …I think it is so fitting, because she will also have to be BOLD this year.

Think this collection needs a 4th Mankato Marathon medal????  It just might get one!

Keeping Pace on Running Bib Numbers

It is amazing how good intentions and great ideas can be waylaid by life.  I can’t even express the awe I have have for some the bloggers who have families like ours, some even way bigger and have regularly fresh and inspirational posts.

I still have the ideas and posts in my head, and often when I go to bed I think I should have jotted down a little something.  Another goal…right;)

Anyway, I am a runner, an avid runner, it is my freedom, my Prozac, my therapy and time I get just for me.  I do not have a running partner for training, but I do have a racing partner.  When I go out run it is ME time, but when I race I love to share the experience with someone else, and maybe the hotel fee.

I have not blogged much on here about my running, I like to share more of the projects we work on, but it is a large part of my life and as the weather warms up will become more so.  I will probably back blog some of my race info and results, for my own personal record.

I started running after baby 3 was born, for the same reason most of us to…weight loss, but I am an athlete at heart and love to set and achieve goals and running became a part of me.  Since then I have completed 3 full marathon, 4 1/2 marathons and so many other races I do not have a count.

Here is what I have done as inspiration and a tribute to myself, I have saved every bib number, and on the back I have written my age, the date, the length of the race, (if it was not noted on the bib), and my pace for that race.  It is like a 3D journal plus when I run a race that I have previously run I can look back and see what my time was and try to better it.Image

I have yet to decide what I am going to do with my medals. Anyone else have a system for their racing momentos?

Running Shoes….Mizuno’s Run Narrow?!

True I am a bit behind on some of my posts, the wee one had to have surgery so while she was healing I have not had much time for blogging.

In the midst of training for my marathons and other races this year, it has come time to replace the old pair of trusty duds for a new pair. I have worn many a shoe through my running days. For quite some time I was very happy with my Nike shoes with the Nike+ iPod setup. After I purchased my Garmin watch I realized that I could buy any running shoe on the market, I was no longer tied done with the sensor for my Nikes. (I could have bought a shoe pouch but was too cheap).

So I branched out and bought a pair of Saucony’s, a running partner wore them and had previously worn Nike’s she thought that Saucony shoes were much better.

I have had some luck with these shoes, but lost a few toenails, and am thinking they might be just a bit to narrow. Especially after pounding pavement in the July heat and my feet swelling.

When I wore Nike shoes I was buying them in a wide, and just was at the local sports store yesterday looking for my old friend size 9 Wide and they were MIA.

I had gone for a quick purchase at Old Navy for their Give and Get 30% sale and realized I could get shoes from the Pipelimes site so I ordered these bad girls:

Mizuno Wave Rider 7

These came in a wide, and after Free Shipping and my reward codes I scored them for $20!! I am hoping these will eliminate any toenail damage, they seem to have good reviews and I will have plenty of training miles on them before the first big day!!

It seems that I have a history of trial and error with running shoes, this can be expensive and frustrating.

One thing that helps is to know a little about your feet.

What is your arch type? High? Low? Neutral?

Are you running long distance? You may need a 1/2 size bigger than normal especially if running in the heat.

Do you have wide/narrow feet? If you have wider feet to begin with a wide shoe may help if running long distance?

Do you over/under pronate?

Answer to the above questions can lead you in the direction of a best fit shoe for your feet.

What shoes have you had the best luck with? How did you decide on this shoe?

Marathon Training Tweak

Sometimes I think the hardest part of training for a marathon is the mental aspect.  It is so easy to talk myself out of running or put it off for later in the day with all the other “tasks” that I need to accomplish.

I am not the type who can go off for a long run, 5 miles or more, without a course in mind or plotted out on  This is for two reasons, one I want my  husband to have an idea of my route so he can bring me water or gels,  if it is a rural route, and if he worries he can check on me.  Two, I need to have an idea in my head of where I start, the path and where the end will be.  This route keeps me focused and gives me purpose beyond running.

Since I have 2 full marathons ahead of me this year I have been thinking about my training regime for these and I think I am going to tweak it a bit from last year.  Typically my training is run Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, off  Thursday or X-train run Friday with my long run on Saturday,  Sunday is literally my day of rest…or laundry, cooking, and kid playing anything I may have put off on Saturday.

I found however, that this gets to be a lot of running and so I am brainstorming  a possible coup on the typical regime with a new plan that my go something like this…run Monday and Tuesday, weights Wednesday, a spinning or bike ride on Thursday,  Friday run and the long run still on Saturday, still Sunday being rest or even a yoga class.

First I think I will be less likely to tire of running especially since we are somewhat rural, the same paths do not offer much excitement, and I am really going to be in training mode through the second marathon in October.  Second, I think that with a bit more cross training I may be stronger in other areas and maybe run faster?!?!

So here would be a typical 5 run                           Here is what I am planning

training schedule for week one                             I will still hit my long run each

of  marathon training:                                               week but add more X-training:

Monday: 3 Miles                                                              Monday: 3 Miles

Tuesday: 4 Miles                                                              Tuesday: 4 Miles

Wednesday: 4 Miles                                                       Wednesday:Strength/Weights

Thursday:Off                                                                    Thursday:Spinning/Bike

Friday: 3 Miles                                                                   Friday:  3 Miles

Saturday: 6 Miles                                                              Saturday: 6 Miles

Sunday: Off                                                                            Sunday: Off/Yoga

So even though it looks like I may be working out more, I will have a diverse training schedule, which will keep me interested and also reduce my risk of injury.  I think this will also give me more schedule flexibility regarding weather and class availability, hitting those long runs on Saturday will still be most essential.

What does your training schedule look like? How about a favorite or essential cross training workout?